BACKYARD BROADCSTING LOCAL NEWS APRIL 24, 2020

DEATH COUNT IN LYCOMING COUNTY CHANGES
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine explained why the death count in Pennsylvania decreased yesterday and also how collecting data on probable and confirmed cases can change the COVID-19 numbers, like it did yesterday in Lycoming County, from two to zero deaths. According to Dr Levine, out of the 37, 053 total cases of COVID-19 in the state 388 are now considered probable. According to the Sun Gazette, Lycoming County Coroner, Charles E Kiessling Jr. remains concerned about how the numbers are being recorded in such unprecedented times.  The total number of deaths decreased to 1,421 from 1,622 due to the change in the count of probable cases, but there were still 69 death cases reported confirmed by positive tests for COVID-19.

A THIRD BUSINESS PORTAL CREATED TO CONNECT BUSINESSES TO COVID-19 SUPPLIES
A business to business interchange directory has been created by the State Department of Community and Economic Development to provide Pennsylvanians access to critical supplies quickly without a middleman.  There are two other web applications available thru the state as well a Critical Medical Supplies Portal and the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal.  The information made available from this new application is from those entities who voluntarily gave information to the previous websites all to connect organizations and businesses directly to manufacturers producing COVID-19-related products and supplies.  TO be included in these protals contact the DCED – (info on our websites.)  RA-DCEDPAMCTAP@pa.gov.  For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

URGENT CARE FACILITY TO OFFER COVID-19 TESTING
If residents meet CDC-based COVID-19 screening criteria, a local urgent care will provide testing in Lycoming County.  According to a press release, Med Express Urgent Care will screen patients at designated locations – from their cars if necessary. MedExpress centers are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Officials ask that you call a local center to determine next steps if the CDC criteria applied to you, you can review those details online at medexpress.com/covid19tests

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN FOR THE HELPERS IN WILLIAMSPORT
“Help the Helpers,” a joint initiative of UPMC, City of Williamsport, Lycoming County United Way, and Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce encourages the community to recognize and look for ways to support “the helpers” and each other, such as running simples errands or providing helpful supplies to our neighbors, health care workers,  first responders grocery clerks, custodians and other essential workers you know.  Community members are asked to show their signs of support with window signs, social media frames, or share their “help the helpers” stories with the hashtag #HELPTHEHELPERS. Window signs and social frames can be downloaded at UPMCSusquehanna.org/HelptheHelpers.

GIRL FLEES ABDUCTION ATTEMPT
State police in Montoursville say a juvenile girl was approached earlier this month in an abduction attempt in Woodward Township.  According to the Sun Gazette, a suspect in a red Subaru sedan came to the Harvest Moon Park trailer court on April 10thj around 7pm and offered a young girl candy to come with them.  Police say the girl did not get in the vehicle and instead fled the sceen and called police.  If you have any information about this incident, please call Pennsylvania State police  at 570-368-5700.

PENN STATE TO FREEZE TUITION
Due to the economic challenges facing Pennsylvania and the nation, Penn State administrators said yesterday they will freeze tuition rates for all students University-wide for the 2020-21 academic year. The plan will need the University’s Board of Trustees final approval in July.  This is the third consecutive year that Penn State has held tuition rates flat for Pennsylvania resident students. The school will also adjust tuition rates for the upcoming summer 2020 semester, using a pre-existing tuition structure and also subject to Board of Trustees approval at is regularly scheduled May meeting.

LOCAL GROCERY TO START FOOD DRIVE CAMPAIGN
Weis Markets is working with their local communities starting next week and will launch their Fight Hunger campaign on April 30th.  Each Weis store will partner with a local food pantry, and when customers generously donate or round up their grocery order, the proceeds will go to those local recipients.  Weis customers can also place a anon-perishable food donation in barrels provided by the stores starting next Thursday.

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